DIY Crystal Art
You know how an earworm will get in your head, and just make you go mad with the repeating melody or lyrics? Sometimes you don’t even realize it is happening until you find yourself in the middle of a task that is loosely related and it dawns on you. Well, for me it was a certain blonde lady who’s song, Bejeweled, was Swiftly burrowed into my brain. And thus, I felt the overwhelming urge to do something shimmery. Good thing there are ample amounts of Crystal Art kits available, including framed kits of various sizes, and cards (which I’ve completed), with many different designs Taylored to your specific wants and needs.
What is Crystal Art?
A craft consisting of a fabric or board backing, with a color and letter coded design, to which one affixes small jeweled beads to create a glittering colorful design when completed.
What is included in the kit?
The Craft Buddy D.I.Y Crystal Art Card Kit includes:
- 1x Card
- 1x Envelope
- 1x Crystal Pickup Pen
- 1x Jelly Wax
- 1x Tray
- Various different colored and shaped crystals*
- Various small zip baggies*
*The kit I’ve completed is the Rainbow Toucan. This kit had 12x different colors in a round shape, and 2x different colors in a teardrop shape. As well as 20x zip baggies. Different designs will include different amounts of crystals and baggies.
How do you set up before starting?
Ensure you have a flat, clean, and wind free surface. The wind free is important as sometimes the crystals can be very light (they aren’t real gemstones, but an epoxy resin) and can wander away in a strong breeze.
Lay your card down on your desk/table, do not remove the plastic sheet covering it.
Take one of the protective coverings off the wax and place it close to your card, you want to keep it within a small reach from the workspace for refilling the pen.
Pick a color to start with; my personal preference is to start with the top left section and work my way down, similar to writing in a notebook. But there is no wrong color or space to start with.
Using scissors, carefully cut open one of the colors of crystals, and pour it into the ridged tray. Keeping the base of the tray on the table, grab it by the sides and give it a light shake back and forth to arrange the majority of the crystals with facet side up/flat side down. Some crystals have a shiny silver back/flat side, but others are the same color as the whole crystal.
Pro tip: with a permanent marker, write the letter of the crystal color on one of the plastic baggies and set it aside, this will come in handy later.
How do you pick up the crystals?
Grasp the pen, and stick the metal side down into the jelly. Push all the way to the base of the jelly and give a little twist of the pen (similar to using a cookie cutter in dough). Once you pick up the pen, you will see a little piece of the jelly in the tip, and a small hole in the jelly.
Go to your tray, and gently tap the tip of the pen to the faceted top of one of the crystals. It shouldn’t take much pressure to pick up, if you’re having a hard time keeping the crystals on the tip, go back to the jelly with the pen and refill the tip. For the toucan card, I refilled the tip about 10-15 times.
How do you place the crystals on the card?
Once you have a crystal on the tip of the pen, locate the section on the card with that letter/color. Peel back enough of the plastic covering to reveal the sticky coating on the card, but do not remove the full plastic backing. I’m right handed, so this is why I like to start in the top right, the plastic protects the rest of the card while I am working and keeps my hand from sticking to the card.
Gently press the crystal into place in one of the circles with the matching letter. This will take a little bit more pressure than picking up the crystal from the tray, but not a hard force as the sticky part is quite sticky. You’ll have a couple of seconds to be able to slide the crystal a little bit to the side with the pen before it bonds and becomes a pain to adjust. Overall, if it's not exactly perfect in the circle, it will be OK, the final results will shimmer and shine regardless of perfection.
Continue on until you’ve finished all of that color. Each color comes with ample extra crystals, so grab a baggie (preferably the one you set aside with the letter already on it), and pour in the remaining crystals using the funnel end of the tray.
Repeat above steps for the next color/letter. You may find it preferable to keep going in the same direction from start to finish, or you may want to grab a color that has less pieces to be placed than others, or get to a tighter area before moving on. Much like a jigsaw puzzle, even though the steps are the same, the order of pieces does not matter, you’ll end up with a beautiful image in the end.
Uh oh, I found a few circles of a past color I missed! Now what?
This is where the labeling of the baggies comes in handy. You don’t have to guess which of the colors matches that area, you can grab the bag labeled for that section, open it up, and grab the few crystals you need to finish out that section, and re-close it back up.
The card has no more circles with letters, am I done?
Yep! Congratulations, you’ve just completed a Crystal Art kit! If you have the card version like I do, you can choose a loved one to write a message to in the blank inside, stuff the envelope and hand or ship it off to them for a special surprise. If you have the framed version, find a spot on the wall and get that artwork hung like it is The Louvre. Dazzle in your accomplishment and let your smile shine as bright as the artwork itself.
As mentioned, there are ample extra crystals, which are great to keep for future crafts, or bedazzling your scissors with a little dab of glue, whatever your little crafty heart desires. Mine…well they sit in a drawer with other relics of crystal arts past. Eventually, I’ll bejewel my entire room and shine bright like a diamond.
Best believe, I can still make the whole Puzzle Pizza shimmer.
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In the Buddy Art Program, we help kids learn the fundamentals of arts and master the basics by teaching about color theory, different art theories, different art techniques, the magic of color mixing, and more. Furthermore, the art classes aim to enhance your child’s capability and cognitive thinking to upgrade soft skills.